As a marketing manager or business owner you are most likely very familiar with the customer or client journey. In a nutshell, it’s a template that maps out the various stages your customers or clients will go through as they move towards doing business with you.
Understanding this journey is important for many reasons but the first is that it allows you to create the right kind of content for each stage. In today’s blog post, we’re talking about three main categories of content that serve customers and clients before they buy, while they’re engaging with you, and after the purchase or project is complete.
1) MARKETING CONTENT to attract new clients
This is the type of content most people are familiar with: blog posts, videos, social media posts – all designed to attract your target audience’s attention, stimulate their interest and encourage them to move on to the evaluation stage, where they’re trying to suss out whether you’re right for them.
In fact the list of marketing content available to us these days is so big that it can actually be a little overwhelming. Which is why it’s helpful to bring it back to the customer or client journey and think about what you’re trying to achieve at each stage and which type of copy will be most effective.
A great example of marketing content: Kyero
Our clients Kyero are a brilliant example of how to use content to attract new clients – both the Spanish estate agents who list properties on their site and the international buyers who use it to find their dream home abroad.
Visit the Kyero site and you’ll find a separate blog stream for each target client. There’s also a series of location guides to help the buyers make good buying decisions, plus regular data reports for the agents to help them understand the international property market.
One of the most useful pieces of content we ever created was a combination sales brochure and process document, which we send out with every quote and which supports the conversion process. It includes more details about what’s on offer, a step by step guide to how it all works, plus testimonials and usually a case study to help prove our worth.
The key to creating marketing content that gets results is to understand every step of the journey that your target audience takes as they head towards working with you and create the content that will best support that.
2) CUSTOMER CARE CONTENT to ensure your clients have a great experience
Once you’ve sold a product or won a client, your thoughts should turn to fulfilling the purchase or the service you provide, right? In a sense the answer is yes. But don’t take off your marketing hat just yet.
Just because a customer or client has parted with money or signed an SLA, doesn’t mean they’re bought in to you as a business. How you interact with them once they’ve made the decision to buy from you or work with you is a very important step of the marketing journey.
And content can help. For example, if you’ve sold someone a piece of flatpack furniture, could you create an instructional video to help them assemble it? If your service offering is particularly complex, you might want to create a guide that walks them through it step by step, preparing them at each stage for what’s coming up.
Listening and responding to your clients
As with all content creation, the key is to put yourself into the shoes of the people you’re creating it for. What is their biggest problem and how can you solve it? What is their greatest wish and how can you fulfil it?
It was thinking like this that helped us create an extra step in our blogging process. One of our clients is a software development company. We realised that the developers we were interviewing during the briefing stage were struggling to understand what was needed from them and, as a result, giving us far too much general info rather than the specific things we needed.
Now we create a pre-brief document for each post, which gives them time to think through the topic in advance and prepare answers to specific questions. This makes the whole process much more efficient and enjoyable for all.
3) POST PROJECT CONTENT to encourage loyalty and repeat business
It’s far simpler and more cost effective to get repeat custom from someone you’ve done a great job for in the past than it is to find new leads. Which is why it’s important not to neglect clients even after they’ve paid your last invoice.
Creating value-added content at this stage can be very powerful. For example, if you’re a carpet company you could send a brochure with simple tips for cleaning up common spills and stains. If you’re a web designer, you could create a how to guide on launching a new site for maximum publicity.
This is a great way to remind your customer or client that you care while also reinforcing your status as an expert. They’ll be more loyal, more likely to recommend you to others and, when the time comes to repurchase or start a similar project, they’ll almost certainly come back to you.
Using value to up-sell your products or services
Plus, in the right circumstances, post-project content can be a really effective way to upsell your products or services. For example, imagine you’re a landscaper and you’ve just finished a residential garden project. A brochure detailing top care tips through the seasons will be a useful gift for your client. But if those tips include services you can offer, such as lawn maintenance or hedge trimming, then you may well get extra work out of it.
Likewise imagine that you’ve just sold someone a new sofa. And imagine that you’ve created a mini-home interiors magazine with articles about how to style a living room and how to enhance a space using colour. This mini-mag is full of other products you sell. Products that your new customer may well want to buy to as an add-on to their new sofa purchase.
This is not about manipulation. It’s not about being pushy. The best marketing should be value first, potential sale second. Because whether or not a piece of content converts immediately, in the long run it will help build brand awareness, reputation and loyalty.
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